Council's Role in Flood Management

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Before the event

Council's role is to investigate the risk of flooding and to prepare for future floods through land use planning, development control and flood mitigation works.  It is not possible to predict when, where, or how big the next flood will be. However, we can estimate the likelihood of different sizes of floods and their consequences so we can plan ahead.

Council is working on solutions to manage flooding with grant assistance from the government to implement actions adopted in our  Flood Management Plans. Council's Flood Risk Management Committee is developing strategies during regular meetings.

During the event

The  State Emergency Service (SES) is the lead emergency management agency during floods.

Council's role during a flood is to assist emergency management departments such as SES, Rural Fire Service and NSW Police.

After the event

Council leads the clean-up tasks after a flood event and coordinates repairs to damaged public assets such as roads, parks, trees and drainage. Council also applies for funding from the government to cover public asset damages.

What Council is doing to reduce flood risk

A number of actions were recommended in the Floodplain Risk Management Plans adopted by Council for Newcastle City Wide and Wallsend Commercial Area. Implementation of the recommendations has been an ongoing process.  The underlying fact for Newcastle is that urban development on the floodplain has been undertaken since European settlement. Once development has occurred in a location and a particular use of land is established it is difficult and expensive to change or move those uses to reclaim the floodplain.

This means that urban land uses in the floodplain is likely to stay and the elimination of all flood risk is practically impossible. However there are measures, such as  planning controls, that can be applied to reduce flood risk in the long term as redevelopment takes place. At the end of the day there are no easy solutions and the most effective means of reducing risk is to apply a range of measures such as flood education, planning controls, emergency management, on-site detention and drainage improvements.

Specific Implementation Actions

Flash Flood Alert Service
Wallsend Commercial Area FRMP Implementation Study
Morgan Selwyn Street Floodway
Flood Education Campaign
Low Lying Areas - Phase 1 - Sea & Groundwater Monitoring